Dinner with De Niro and Pacino

I had dinner last night with De Niro and Pacino. I met them at Geoffrey’s Malibu an hour before sunset. It was mild and we sat out on the patio overlooking the ocean.

I didn’t know who was paying but it wasn’t me, so I didn’t stint on my drinks, my appetizer (sautéed Maryland lump crab cakes), or my dinner (Togarashi dusted seared Ahi tuna). De Niro ate a lot of red meat and drank plenty; I wouldn’t insure the guy’s heart or circulatory system, I’ll tell you that. Pacino drank and stuck to something green and leafy, from which he picked the bits of cheese. The chef, Bijan Shokatfard, made an appearance but waited until the principals were probably too bleary to distinguish him from Remy the rat.

Pacino is four years older than me, De Niro one year older. They’re both short, of course. They’ve both got this energy thing, this dynamic aura or whatever, radiating from them, but I still think I could take either one in a fair fight.

They were both there with women half their age. Wives? Daughters? Publicists? I was there with a woman half my age too, so we never got into who was doing what to whom. A lot of smiling and no “And what do you do?”

These two guys. They gave me half an ear but you could tell they had something going on between themselves, this alpha-dog BS. It was in their eyes, which couldn’t hold still, kept drifting back to the other guy. Both their companions kept patting them on the arm, murmuring in their ear, and I’d hear snatches of “Remember, you promised you wouldn’t…” and “Just let it go, Baby…”

I heard, hell, I hear all the time, that they’ve never gotten over “Righteous Kill.” Rooster and Turk. What  were they thinking? Putting themselves in the hands of Jon Avnet – who, and I give him credit for this and this alone – has directed multiple episodes of “Justified.” He had already squandered Pacino in “88 Minutes” and now Pacino comes back for more? Rooster. Pacino is 70, for Pete’s sake. They’re supposed to be swinging dicks, but it’s their wattles that do that. Not that I’m any prize myself, but I’m not a megastar except to my family and a couple of special friends like my partner at dinner (she ordered a two-pound Maine steamed lobster). Hollywood.

What do I know that I didn’t know before dinner last night? Every girl or young woman or grown-up woman that I’ve idolized and desired from afar, in grammar school or high school or college or on the set, wherever, when I finally hooked up with her, she disappointed. That, I already knew. But now I’m thinking that it’s the same with movie stars.

Reality Show: “Stretch”

I was paid an obscene amount, just for the idea. Let me know if you like the show when it airs.

Ten men, all 6′ 8″ or taller. Single, good looking, and looking. Ten women, all 5′ or shorter, ditto.

The twenty of them are brought together at a luxury resort located in northern Georgia but not too close to Atlanta.

For ten weeks we watch the group in the pool, frolicing. This includes on-the-shoulders team wrestling. We see the gleaming bodies on the lounges at poolside. There is horseback riding. Horseshoes and crocquet and volleyball. Cocktails before dinner. We see couples dancing on the patio under a full moon. Always, onscreen, the women craning their necks, the men peering down at the top of the ladies’ heads, seeing the ladies dramatically foreshortened from crown to toes, with the parts in between, like the women’s noses, for example,  sticking out. If you’ve ever tried to draw foreshortened nudes in a life class, you know what I’m talking about.

The women are a collection of professionals. Doctors, lawyers, and college professors, like that. The men work with their hands. We see that the women often wear wedgies, even in the most casual of settings, but somehow the shoes make them look even shorter, as they’re up on their toes a little. The men go barefoot. One time a guy steps on a rock and one of the women takes his foot in her hands and she can’t begin to get her fingers around the whole thing.

The first “couple” to happen is Louise, a government economist, and Jake, listed as a roustabout. We see them from a distance, out in the garden at dusk. Jake has lifted Louise to stand on the ping-pong table so that they can have a conversation.

The show is really just about how this is going to work. We know that we’re probably not going to get to see it, even if the action goes a little blue at the end, but it’s like a car wreck. Hard to look away.